Our last full day in The New Forest and, as forecast, it was dry. It was even quite sunny and I was determined to try and fulfill an outstanding quest: a picture of a Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii). Ever hopeful, we set of on the short walk from Guillaume down to the one site we’d previously seen them flying around. Nothing, rien, pas une saucisse. I wandered up and down the stream between the two locations where we’d seen them but today, Golden Rings were there none. A few die-hard Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum) were flying around – one pair was even ovipositing – but my main quarry remained elusive. Though nominally common, Common Darters are still attractive creatures so here’s a pair to brighten the posting (female on the left, male on the right).
The final day may not have delivered but you can’t have everything and we had seen Golden-ringed Dragonflies for the first time. Our visit here had also produced shots of a Keeled Skimmer, a species completely new to me, together with both male and female Southern Hawkers (Aeshna cyanea), neither easy to find at rest. I think we’ve got an additional subspecies of the Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) to add to our collection, too. An excellent haul and a very satisfying trip.
We may have to return next year for that Golden-ringed beastie. It may even be worth suffering rugrat season. Arghh!